Athens and Sparta were two of the greatest Greek city states ever. Not only do these two cities have many differences but they also have some things in common too. But only one could be the best, was it Sparta or Athens? Many people think that Sparta and Athens were completely different, but this is not true, they had many similarities. To start off they were both two of the most powerful and important city states in ancient Greece. Sparta with it amazing army and Athens cultural legacy, they both set the stage for the history of ancient Greece. These two cities’ also had very strict social classes, for example in both city’s wealthy land owners were the top class and slaves were the bottom class.
Sparta and Athens were both strong in certain militaristic areas. Athens had very powerful Navy, while Sparta had one of the best Army’s in ancient times. Lastly, both belonged to leagues of allies. Sparta belonged to the Peloponnesian league and Athens belonged to the Delian League. Although Athens and Sparta have things in common they were more different than they were alike. For example the lives of the Spartans revolved around war, preparing for war, educating their kids for war and conquering other countries during war. While Athens had other priorities, like culture, art, education and unification. Spartan children were only educated in the art of battle and taught how to fight, while Athenian children were educated in math, music, poetry and sports. Spartan women also had more rights than Athenian women.
Women in Athens were not allowed to leave their homes or participate in any events; they were considered property of their husbands and were responsible for the household duties. On the other hand Spartan women were educated in reading and writing, could participate in sports, own their own land and were treated more as equals. Sparta was one of the first places in the world to start women’s rights. The governments in these two city states were also very different. In Athens there was a direct democracy, meaning all the male citizens of Athens could vote on the laws being passed. Athens believed that all citizens should be included in government decisions and tried to unite the people. Sparta though, had an Oligarchy which was ruled by 2 kings who were usually in command of the armies.
Lastly, the cultures of Athens and Sparta were very different. Athens was a united beautiful city full of art, architecture, literature, philosophy, science, medicine and they enjoyed a variety of luxurious foods in their diets. Although, Sparta on the other hand was not very unified, extremely military based and the people didn’t enjoy many luxuries for example the Spartan diet mainly consisted of pork, blood, salt and vinegar. Athens and Sparta were both wonderful cities but only one could be the best, and that was Athens. Athens was the better city in pretty much all aspects of life. The people prospered in Athens they enjoyed fine dining and art, unlike those in Sparta. Athens focused on so much more than just war; this is why Athens was the city that had some of the best cultural achievements in ancient society.
They made beautiful art, medical advancements and were one of the first democratic governments, paving the way for countries today like the USA. Athens was cleaner, nicer and prettier which would have made it a much more enjoyable place to live. Athens may not have had as good of an army as Sparta but in the end cultural and society advancements are more important than having the best army in the world. All these reasons and more just shows how much better Athens is than Sparta. Two of the most powerful cities’ in the ancient times, Sparta and Athens were alike and different. They were both unique in different ways and each thrived in different areas. But in the end, it is an obvious choice that Athens was clearly the better Greek City State.
Athens Vs. Sparta Essay
Athens Vs. Sparta Athens and Sparta were both City-states in Greece in ancient times, yet they had no social similarities. They were constantly at war, and at one time at a stalemate. They existed in the same time and place, but had totally different views on life and lifestyles. There were differences in the family life of people and paradigm of Athenians and Spartans.
Sparta was Drastically unlike Athens and all other city-states in this aspect. In Sparta the men were full time soldiers. Even though there were few Spartans, there well-trained warriors were feared by other city-states. The way Spartans should act was based on keeping the slaves (also known as serfs or heliots) from revolting becuase heliots vastly outnumbered Spartans. Citizens were taught to think alike to keep from fighting because this might encourage heliots to attack. Boys lived in barracks and had the same education. As well, drunken soldiers would make it easier for heliots to revolt so prohibition was practiced in Sparta. Family Life was almost nonexistent. Sparta resembled more an army camp. Males of all ages were kept together and spent a lot of time with each other. This was meant to make them grow similar in character as well as devoted to each other so they would be an efficient fighting force. Family life would breed diversity and the Spartans believed in unity to be more important than families. At a very young age boys were taken from the home to train together. Girls might sleep at home, but during the day they worked and exercised together, spending less time with their families than most Greek girls. Men could marry young but were not allowed to spend time with their wives until the age of thirty. Most married couples met in secret. The Spartans knew of these secret meetings, but did not care. They wanted them to take place so the couples could breed more Spartans. These meetings, however, were not allowed to be too frequent because then soldier might become more interested in his wife than his army. This shows very much what family meant to Spartans. Family was a man and wife getting together to breed children, but to have a functional family setting was hurtful to the army and was not practiced. Women in Sparta were given more freedom and held more responsible than women in Athens. Men were either at war or training most of their lives leaving women free to go out and spend time with each other. They had much more freedom and wealth than women in Athens. When men went to war women were left to make decisions for the community-- women in Athens would never have been left alone to do this. Mothers of Spartan soldiers were very harsh towards their sons. If a soldier throws their shield down it is to...
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